The Krugersdorp Flying Club hosted its annual awards dinner on the 18th of August 2012. The aim of the event was to recognize, honour and applaud those who made positive contributions to both general aviation and the flying club.
The event was started with a video showing a little of the Jack Taylor Aerodrome in Krugersdorp, aircraft operated be members of the club and also some special moments of members in the past.
An edited version of the opening video:
The master of ceremonies was well-known retired airline captain, respected pilot in South Africa, a close friend of the flying club, Karl Jensen. As always Karl entertained everyone right from the start all the way through to the end with some jokes and stories.
Two flying schools operate from the Jack Taylor Aerodrome and the first set of awards was used to recognize the top student pilot of each school. The winner of Aviatech Flight Academy's “student of the year” was awarded to Michael Wrathall and Pierre De Klerk was voted “Student of the Year” by Alpi Flight Academy. Unfortunately both of them were unable to attend the event and the awards were received by fathers Chris and Dale.
Like most other clubs, there are many non-members committing their time to promote and advance the club and the members of the Krugersdorp Flying Club made sure that these people do not go unnoticed. The “Outstanding Contribution by a Non-Member” award was shared by three highly valued ladies: Sam Belcher, Cecile Ferreira and An-Marie Tolmay who are always willing to help and support any activity the club may have.
After a delicious dinner, the event proceeded to award members who have been members of the club for 40 years or more. Sheila Taylor (wife of the airfield founder - Jack Taylor) has been a member for an incredible 52 years, truly an amazing feat. Other members of this prestigious award were: Gerhard Roberts, Louis van Wyngaardt, Walter Martin, Kim Pratley and Chris Kyle.
The award “Special Aviation Achievement” was so closely competed that it was decided to share it between two members. Dieter Bock for the three concourse aircraft he built, and Dale De Klerk for winning the “World Navigation Flying” title a few years ago.
Serving the Krugersdorp Flying Club for almost two decades, elected as the vice chairman of the Aero Club of South Africa and leading the Experimental Aircraft Association of South Africa as the National President, Paul Lastrucci received the “Most Active Involvement In General Aviation” award.
It was no surprise when Chris Kyle won the award for “The Most Inspiring Member”. Chris walks the talk, he is passionate about aviation and safety, he is always willing to teach, guide and mentor fellow aviators and is respected by all.
The Grand finale of the event was the “Member Of The Year” award. This special award went to the person who is always available to help regardless if it is a member in distress, a challenge at the club, when technical assistance required or just a friend to talk to. Peter Lastrucci met all these requirements and therefore walked away with the vote.
If you are a member of any club you will know that there are many behind the scenes who keep the engines of the club running. At the Krugersdorp Flying Club this is no different and John Addis, Paul Lastrucci, Kim Pratley, Nico Smit, Cecile Ferreira, Bryan Belcher, Gerry Cooney, Leon Meintjies, Chris Kyle, Francois Tolmay and Willem Bredenhann were also recognised for their valued contribution to the club.